Maples for Autumn Colour
As the weather cools in late summer and the days shorten noticeably so the deciduous trees and shrubs begin to withdraw chlorophyll from their leaves in preparation for the winter shutdown. With less of that vital green pigment to mask them, the other colours within the leaves begin to show through. While the best of the autumn color may be over for this year, the coming winter months are the time to consider how best to prepare for next years autumn glory.
When it comes to the most vibrant tones, the genus Acer, the maples, includes many sterling contributors. Most of the 150-odd species of maples are deciduous trees, though some are shrubby and a few are evergreen. Acer is primarily a temperate northern hemisphere genus, ranging from around 59°N southwards to the mountains of the subtropics. With the exception of a few Eurasian species, principally the Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) and the Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), most of our garden maples are derived from Asian and North American species.
Maples do flower, but apart from a few with showy tassel-like blooms, most are grown solely as foliage plants, And while the thrust of this article is about autumn colour, many of the best autumn maples are also excellent spring and summer foliage plants.
Of course, getting good autumn colours depends greatly on the climate and the shades vary from year to year even in districts known for their autumn foliage. Generally the best colours develop during a prolonged autumn with warm, still days and cool but not freezing nights. Soon after the first frosts strike the last leaves fall.
Although most maples colour to some extent in autumn, the following species and their cultivars are readily available and among the brightest and most reliable.
The Golden Full-moon Maple (Acer japonicum var. aureum) has rounded lime green spring leaves that become yellow as they mature then turn golden and red in autumn. It is now more properly known as Acer shirasawanum 'Aureum'.
Regardless of its preference for cool, humid conditions and a tendency to develop die-back, the Japanese maple is nearly everyone's favourite small tree. The autumn foliage colour of the purple- or red-leaved forms is usually just a more intense shade of the summer colour, while those with green to pale gold leaves develop shades of red, orange, gold and yellow.
For autumn colour consider: 'Bloodgood', deep red; 'Aureum', deep gold; 'Beni Kagami', bright red; 'Hessei', red; 'Dissectum', bright orange; 'Dissectum Atropurpureum', red; 'Linearilobum Atropurpureum', bronze; and 'Linearilobum Rubrum' bright red.
Cultivation tipsExcept for a few species, maples are generally very hardy. They prefer a deep, well-drained, fertile soil with plenty of humus. For the best autumn tones plant in a sunny position but try to provide good wind protection, at least for young plants and Japanese maples, or the foliage may burn or fall before it has a chance to colour well.
Maples respond well to light winter pruning when young and are best shaped to a fairly round crown on a sturdy trunk. Some, such as Acer palmatum, tend to be fairly shrubby with low forking and these are best left to develop naturally.
Even though the exact autumn shades are difficult to predict and will vary from year to year, you won't go far wrong with maples. They're beautiful enough in any season to forgive them their vagaries.
Did you know?It takes around 43 litres of Acer saccharum sap to produce 1 litre of maple syrup. A good sized sugar maple yields around 50 litres of sap and during the processing into syrup the sugar concentration rises from 2% to 66%. No wonder it's so sweet, but what a flavour!
I am a garden book author and horticultural photographer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I run a stock photo library called Country, Farm and Garden (http://www.cfgphoto.com). This article may be re-published provided this information is published with it and is clearly visible.
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Gander Outdoors offers a surprise as it reopens six Minnesota stores this year - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Canoe Trip with Nature
A canoe trip is a great way to appreciate Nature!A well-planned canoe trip is always filled with fun and adventure. If you love cruising the sea or the beautiful lake areas then a canoe trip would be a great choice for you.
Camping and Outdoor Activities: Get Involved with Nature
Camping mixed with outdoor activity is a great way to get ourselves involved with nature. National Parks can provide an excellent backdrop for some of your outdoor activities.
Rigid Inflatable Boats
A rigid inflatable boat is defined as a hard-hulled boat with air inflatable collars. RIB hulls are made of fiberglass, aluminum or composite materials.
Samoa, Heart of Polynesia
The islands of Samoa are emerging as an exciting new South Pacific travel destination between Hawaii and New Zealand. This "Heart of Polynesia" is politically split into two distinct entities 80 miles apart.
Discover Knotts Berry Farm
Of course you know about Southern California's premier attraction, Disneyland in Anaheim, but did you know that less than ten (10) minuets down the freeway, in Buena Park, is another great amusement park, Knott's Berry Farm. Knott's Berry Farm, America's first theme park, is located at 8039 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, CA 90620, telephone number (714) 220-5200 and has over one hundred fifty (150) rides in six themed areas: Ghost Town, Fiesta Village®, The Boardwalk, Indian Trails, Wild Water Wilderness® and Camp Snoopy which is the official home of Snoopy and the Peanuts characters.
Great Family Camping Trips Make Excellent Traditions
A wonderful way to invest in your families' treasure trove of memories is by spending time in the great outdoors. Camping trips can be an excellent tradition that your family will look forward to and in time, look back upon with fond memories.
Topographic Maps 101
The intricate details on a topographic map can be befuddling, even frustrating, if you are learning while out in the backcountry. But once you get familiar with the markings and symbols, reading maps will become a friendly aid, rather than a dreaded assignment.
Mount Chimborazo: Climbing Glaciers Near The Equator
The climb up the glaciers to the summit of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador isn't considered highly technical. Technically, it is mountaineering, but how hard could it be, considering that I went to 20,600 feet the first time I used crampons and an ice axe? Okay, I had used them once for practice, on a sledding hill near my house.
On Safari in Northern Tanzania - Back to The Sixth Day of the Creation
Tanzania's natural endowment as a wildlife safari destination is unrivalled. Wild animals roam in vast areas as God intended on that sixth day of the creation.
Holidays in Goa
Sun, Sand and Surf - an apt description for Goa? But Goa is much more. Ancient temples and old churches? Yes.
A Review of Popular River Rafting Trips and Services
Organized river rafting trips are a good idea for novices and experts alike. River rafting tours provide all of the equipment, guidance, and instruction necessary.
River Rafting: An Overview
White-water rafting can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of a lifetime. River rafters see breathtaking scenery, get great exercise, and experience terrific adventure.
Alaska Sport Fishing Guide
WHAT TO FISH AND WHERE: Alaska offers some of the most diverse and incredible fishing opportunities in the world. You can drop a line into a roadside river and catch a nice size rainbow trout.
Hawaii Snorkeling - An Underwater Paradise
Hawaii snorkeling is a fun activity available to almost any skill level of swimmer, where you can discover a breathtaking array of Hawaii's most exotic sea life a few yards from shore. Colorful coral, lava flows, turtles and more than 700 species of fish are found in the clear, high- visibility waters warmed to an average temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
River Rafting in the Grand Canyon
Rafting through the Grand Canyon is the experience of a lifetime. Viewing the canyon from along the rim is a stunning experience on its own, but it pales in comparison to the adventure of riding the river through it.
San Francisco Beaches
When you are planning a vacation to Maui or Rio de Janeiro you may put beaches on the top of you list of things to see. However, when planning a trip to San Francisco, you may have heard of North Beach, but North Beach doesn't have any beaches (though the neighborhood was named after a beach that used to be on its north shoreline).
Find a Camping Gear Outlet Near You
When you search online for a camping gear outlet you will find camping gear at great discounts like tents, sleeping materials like sleeping bags, navigation and survival items, camping furniture and lanterns, tools, knives and optics, personal care equipment, backpacks, camping cookware, and other camping stuff.If the camp gear outlet you find is an established one, you will find some of the best sales and discounts on clearance items as well as discontinued ones.
New Technologies in Camping and Outdoor Clothing Enhance the Outdoor Experience
Camping is an excellent way to explore and experience the outdoors. The weather needn't be an obstacle to what sorts of climates and places you might trek to.
Bird Watching Mecca - 338 Species At Acadia National Park
When it comes to birding, Acadia National Park is a mecca for sightings. The Park has 338 bird species, which is a record for any national park in the United States.
Chimborazo: Learning Spanish At 20,600 Feet
Climbing the glaciers to the summit of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador isn't highly technical. It is mountaineering, but how hard can it be, considering I went to 20,600 feet the first time I used crampons and an ice axe? Okay, I used them once for practice, on a sledding hill near my house.
|home | site map | Ocean Photography|